The Five Laws of Library Science from a Japanese Angle

  • Received : 2011.10.04
  • Accepted : 2011.11.27
  • Published : 2011.11.30


The Five Laws of Library Science was introduced into Japan in 1935. After World War II, it was widely disseminated among young librarians by the education for librarianship developed in the 1950's. Its concept, "Books for All," met a serious opposition from local authorities based on their long continued concept of "preservation." After they realized that people eagerly use local libraries, they interpreted that the duty of public library was "lending books." They introduced "Privatization" of libraries into quite a few local libraries in order to save money. For overcoming problems, it is important to disseminate the library concept among the public, the assembly members and government officials planning to change their attitude of disregarding libraries. As the fundamental library philosophy, the Five Laws of Library Science is important. In the commentary of the Five Laws written by the present writer, he included an illustration of triangle pyramid showing the structure of the Five Laws. He included here the spiral of study on the library and the library science, based on the Section 814 of the Five Laws. He welcomes discussions on his Japanese angle from different viewpoints in order to develop further understanding of the Five Laws.